Saratoga Springs will receive $750,000 from New York state to help renovate Universal Preservation Hall, a historic nonprofit community arts organization, into a performing arts center.
In 2019, the heart of the hall will be a 700-seat, arena-style performance venue, geared toward live music, but capable of hosting theater, dance, comedy and fashion, as well as conventions, weddings and community events. The reonovations also include administrative offices and an elevator for increased accessibility.
The project is approaching its stated fundraising goal of $5 million.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the grant is part of more than $11 million awarded through Round 5 of the Restore New York Communities Initiative. Restore New York supports municipal revitalization efforts by awarding funding for projects that will reinvigorate downtowns and generate new economic opportunity in communities from Western New York to Long Island.
Nearly $81 million was awarded to 71 municipalities statewide.
“Downtown communities are vital to keeping our economies thriving and to attracting businesses and families to put down their roots in New York,” Cuomo said. “The Restore New York Communities Initiative recognizes communities teeming with potential and invests in their transformation and their future, and turns them into neighborhoods New Yorkers are proud to call home.”
Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner said revitalizing vacant and aging properties in downtown neighborhoods “is an exciting and meaningful way to generate economic development and job creation, and I thank Gov. Cuomo for his shared interest in helping our communities reach their full potential.
“The Universal Preservation Hall is an invaluable historic asset to downtown Saratoga Springs, and this funding will provide critical support to preserve and restore a beloved landmark as an exciting new venue for the arts while respecting its heritage as a house of worship.”
“Traveling across the state, I see the many buildings in communities that have great possibilities to be restored with the charm they once had,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. “With this Restore New York funding, we’re committed to ensuring that our localities have the resources they need to pursue new development projects and transform abandoned properties. The Restore New York initiative continues to work with local leaders and stakeholders to unleash the full potential of economic development opportunities across the state.”